4754/Mission 4: The Hour When Demons Pursue

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Mission 4: The Hour When Demons Pursue
Date of Scene: 05 November 2016
Location: Tokyo-52605 <NXC>
Synopsis: The struggle for the pieces of the Sessho-Seki, the legendary Killing Stone, has reached its climax. Three of the pieces have been found; the fourth is somewhere in Tokyo.

And so is Ouma's target for the Killing Stone's use.

Shinra needs all four pieces in order to neutralize Tamamo-no-Mae's ancient and deadly curse; Ouma just needs to bring them all together outside Shinra's control.

What forces will be unleashed in the streets of Tokyo, and who will carry the day?

Cast of Characters: 707, Reiji Arisu, 691, 1056, Reina Kinney, 127, Sanary Rondel, 941, 11, 737, 1014
Tinyplot: Restoration of the Killing Stone

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
"We are the hunters." "We are the pursuers."

Most humans never realize just how close the supernatural is to their ordinary, mundane lives. And by and large, that's exactly what Shinra has tried to ensure over the years - that no regular person realizes their neighbor is a kitsune, or that the girl who lives down the street is a bakeneko, or that the bouncer at their favorite nightclub is an oni or something ... even when they are.

"We are those who lie beneath, and wait ..." "... to overthrow those above."

But today, there's a buzz in the air throughout Tokyo, from the downtown wards to the edges of the suburbs. The neighbor looks like he's anticipating something, the girl down the street is distracted, the bouncer seems more brusque and less hospitable to the human regulars. And when they meet with each other, more often than not, mysterious words are exchanged.

"Order is transient -" "- chaos is eternal."

The sun crawls across the sky, and as shadows lengthen into dusk, the buzz rises in pitch and other beings begin to crawl out of hiding. Ghosts and goblins and spectres who can't or won't hide among humans begin to emerge, most particularly when they *never* emerge normally into human sight.

"The day shall end ..." "And night fall once more."

Gradually, so subtly that most people can't hear the transition, the buzz becomes a scream. It's not the first time that the masquerade, so carefully maintained by Shinra, has been broken; Masakado's tantrum from last summer is still fresh in the minds of many Shinra agents, and that's just one recent example. But this time, it's not just a ghost's unrest that stirs up havoc.

"Mortals shall perish ..." "... Their structures shall crumble."

This time, all of Tokyo feels the chill as the sun dips below the horizon. Or rather, all of *mortal* Tokyo feels it. Mothers usher their children in as soon as twilight falls across the city; salarymen eye the clock and hustle about their commutes home. None of them would ever know the reason for their unrest - why they don't look a neighbor in the eye, why they don't wave to the young girl down the street on the way home, why they skip their usual drink.

It may be a mere peculiarity, an inexplicable aberration in the rhythm of days, weeks, months. Or it may become something more. And as the twilight darkens into evening, the whispers of youkai reach their peak:

"We are Ouma; our hour has come!"

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
Not all of Tokyo's supernatural population are on Ouma's side, of course. There are those, like Xiaomu, who are allied with Shinra, and those who haven't been called in for active duty are protecting mortals where they can. Outside of Shinra, a pink-haired nekomata protects her territory, or a tutelary kami wards danger away from its region; the Akihabara and Soto-Kanda wards are distinctly spared from spiritual unrest, thanks to an ancient samurai's ghost enshrined in that part of the city. There are many youkai who feel little need to support Ouma's goals, and even some of Ouma's allies take exception to this degree of unrest.

But that's the only real good news Shinra has to work with. Ouma almost never moves this openly, and that alone would be ample cause for an emergency scramble - if they didn't already have an emergency on their hands.

Two fragments of the Sessho-Seki are in Ouma's hands, or the Confederacy's; at this point, it's a relatively mundane distinction. Shinra only has one fragment of the legendary Killing Stone ... but they also have a strong lead on the fourth piece, and that's where Xiaomu and Reiji are headed. It's literally underneath the Ginza district, near one of the seismic faults that underlies the city; the earthquakes which have started there have devastated Tokyo on a fairly regular basis - not just from the quakes but from the fires which those quakes have triggered.

As for Ouma and their Confederate allies, both of their fragments are currently in motion - carried in the portable shrines called mikoshi, each at the head of a separate parade of demons, spectres, and apparitions. For Ouma, it is a carnival in every sense - why should they not celebrate the victory that's almost in their grasp? - and as soon as the fragments are united, it will become a true carnival of blood. But first, they have to lay claim to the fourth fragment and take back the one that Shinra stole. Then, they can march on the Imperial Palace and demonstrate Tamamo-no-Mae's deadly curse for all the world to see.

To Ouma's leaders, it seems only fitting. It was at the orders of a past Emperor that Tamamo-no-Mae was hunted down in slain; why should her revived curse not end the Imperial line of Japan, in belated retaliation? The numbers of other mortals who will perish along the way are of little consequence.

To them, at least. But there's a reason why there are fractures in Ouma's ranks - a reason which some of the Confederates on-scene might remember ...

Reiji Arisu has posed:
    While the vast majority of Tokyo's mortal population have retreated to the safety of their homes, there are those who instead walk boldly into the darkness. Those brave men and women who have sworn oaths to defend the common man, to protect the delicate balance between man and spirit. When faced with a thunderstorm, turn boldly to face it.

It's not just Shinra. Though that organization surely forms the front line of defense. But lay people; police officers, military personnel, priests and priestesses of all faiths all seem to sense the unease in the air, and do what they must to hold the line.

Meanwhile, Shinra works, as ever, to sever the threat at its source.

And so, deep beneath Ginza, Reiji pushes into the darkness. Not without a torch, mind you. His sword, Karin, provides ample firelight for the day's investigations. "Everyone is clear, right?" He asks the figures walking alongside him. "We need to get this fragment secure and sealed, then deal with Ouma. As long as we can keep the fragments separated, it's our victory."

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
Yari, dressed in a kimono and trying to look the part of your typical Ouma member. She can't quite fit the 'kitsune' look, but openly showing scales and tail certainly help. She's keeping herself near one of the shards being transported: with Ouma being so open, she fully expects Shinra to have something to say about it.

Thus, she's right in between a gaggle of kitsune in similar kimono, trying her best to blend in as another party-filled youkai.

She's even sharing sake with one of them, laughing and singing joyously. Her tail flicks about, ever ready to pull a kunai on anyone who tries to get at the shard!

Camilla Ulyssa (1056) has posed:
    A purge. The triumph of the supernatural over the mundane-- those with power taking out those without, who discriminate and isolate. Camilla floats along one of the demonic parades, escorting a fragment. She's right at home with all these youkai, fox ears and tail not sticking out in the slightest amidst the crowd.

    For her tonight isn't just an opportunity to get a good brawl in, although that's at the top of the list anyway. It's also an opportunity to see how a purge goes. Mistakes will be made tonight, and she intends to note them down and learn, for later.

    For now, her sights are set on the fragments. One she's staying immediatly by, and the other is within teleportation range. Chances are if a fight's going to go down, the Union is going to gun straight for those two spots, and so that's where she'll sit and wait, content to keep her blades sheathed until something happens.

Reina Kinney has posed:
While she doesn't exactly have the same oath that ShinRa does, Reina is nonetheless standing firmly in the face of a massive thunderstorm without flinching in the least bit. The senior GUARDAINS operative has been through hell and back a thousand times over (as well as variants of what hell could be considered) and no spirit of any kind is going to scare her away. Not in the least bit, no matter how gruesome or scary it might be. This red-head is red-hot about her being fearless in the face of danger.

Somehow levitating above her shoulder is a rather bright light, almost like a heavy-duty flashlight or something. Don't ask how it levitates, it's the technology of the Gurhalian System at work here. What matters is that it helps to brighten things even further, and given what they've been up against so far, Reina doesn't want to risk running into any more strange things without warning.

Kirikou (127) has posed:
    One wouldn't normally expect someone like Kirikou, with his Weapons, to try to blend in with a group of youkai. Then again... look at the season. There's one possibility that would help him and them blend in quite well indeed!

    He and the Twins are here. They're in the middle of the parade, sticking close to the shards and to Yari. The Twins are wearing little kid kimonos and some elaborate costuming work, making them look like soul-eating japanese child-demons. A role which they can manage surprisingly well, to be honest. They don't even have to act, though they do seem to enjoy prancing around on parade.

    Kilik himself is wearing black, making himself into a 'shadow youkai' of sorts. It's not much of a costume admittedly. The only thing he's doing to make himself not look like his normal human self is to get rid of any accessories or clothing that stand out as human.

    There's more to this than protecting the shards, of course, Kilik remembers that the youkai care nothing for innocents who may be slaughtered. Indeed they revel in it, while it doesn't sit well with him. He has no problem with them kicking their oppressors in the teeth, or even with them ruling. In his heart though, he's willing to draw a line between necessary violence and viciousness on one hand and wholesale butchery and targeting of the innocent on the other.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
To say that Sanary's wary about tonight's... Everything would be an understatement. Vague details about what Ouma has planned, marching the fragments right into open view where Shinra can actually reach them... Why the hell didn't they just leave these things somewhere safe?

     <<"I don't like this. It's too... Ugh. I mean, I ain't a strategist or anything, but it all feels too early to be doin' this.">> Sanary murmurs to her Confederate allies over their own channel, hand to head while the other holds onto a massive gunaxe that's slung over her shoulder. The healer's also carrying an ornate oval shield on her back and decked out in the darkest coat she has while overlooking the procession from a rooftop with a disapproving frown.

     <<"Well... Whatever. Just keep your eyes open and stay safe, alright? I'm watching from up here.">> She's not really trying to blend in at all, but... Well, who ever thinks to look up when there's this much going on down in the streets already?

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    Just this once.

    Just this once, Mel is not bothering with the masquerade.

    It's already half-shattered as it is. People are in danger. Lives are on the line. The supernatural is marching down the god damn street like it owns the place, planning on hurting people in the process of resurrecting a monster that'll hurt even more people. At this point, subtlety is out the window. Which explains why the Firestarter-C simply banks to a stop over the street, its door opens, and Mel Brock hops out. The vehicle quickly flies itself straight upward, soon disappearing from sight.

    And Mel begins to walk down the street, hands in her pockets, calmly as if she were out for an evening stroll.

    She's in full Marshal uniform tonight, with a certain sword strapped to her back. But she's not drawing her sword, her pistol, or anything else. She's just walking. Right down the street, straight towards one of the youkai parades. But as she walks, something happens. She passes by an empty car, and it floats up off the ground, following in her wake. Another passed by, and it does the same thing. A third, a fourth. A seventh, an eighth. By the time Mel Brock is actually staring down the street at one of the processions of monsters, there are ten cars floating in the air around and behind her. And a single cargo truck.

    "Ladies, gentlemen, and other assorted creatures, my name is Marshal Mel Brock, operating on behalf of Shinra. I'm giving you all exactly ten seconds to turn your asses around and go back to wherever the hell you came from."

    Now, she finally reaches up, takes hold of Hravn's grip, and draws the blade.

    "And then I start throwing cars."

Metal Man (11) has posed:
Metal Man has seen some crawling signs of it upon his own world, whispers in dsark corners. Long ago he dismissed it due to picking up modes of thought from humans he interacterd with. The multiverse has long shown how foolish it is to discount something when the rules change. SO here he ws but he would muses about a few things they were throwing a world of humans into chaos sure, then again? Who knows how this was going to pan out with Ouma.

This is a day when he wished Shadow Man was not needed for an urgant task by Dr. Wily. His skills owuld be invauable. Metal Knew this would happen one way or another and he's got to admit he's impressed to see many sorts he'd not expect to stand againt the Oni and their kin. The soul of humanity is not withering like it is on his world he muses. He keeps along but he seems to be alone save for another humanoid who is clad in bright orange armour.

"So the objective is get the killing stone?"

"Right brother."

"It's funny you'd not see this many humans stand up back home."

"It seems there are heroes left in man here."

The pair are perched also on a roof top much like Sanary and several Sniper Joes make themselves knowna s they form up and Metal Man opens a channel to his allies.

<<Crash Man and I are ready to deploy and we have Sniper Joes on sight as well.>>

Vivio Takamachi (737) has posed:
    Atop a somewhat high building, Vivio sits on the edge of the rooftop. She's already in her Adult Mode, complete with Barrier Jacket. Supposedly there's going to be some fighting tonight.

    However, Vivio looks out at the closest parade as it approaches. Her eyes are wide as she sights the various types of people amidst the crowd. It's like some kind of festival. Vivio remarks to her companion, "It feels like a shame to intrude and break up something like this." Perhaps she doesn't believe them all to be bad. Perhaps they have the same rights to be proud of their heritage and this world as any of the human inhabitants. The plush bunny nods his head in agreement, but then waves his arms a few times. Vivio returns the nod, "I wonder if they all know what's actually happening... I hope not. That would be too sad."

    Vivio continues to watch for the moment, waiting for a sign to begin and intervene.

Heaven's Armory (1014) has posed:
    Hravn is taking things seriously from the get-go. Rather, she's expecting danger from the very beginning. That means she isn't here in her 'human' form at all, and is only perceiving the scene from her exposed hilt. She's ready, naturally, to back up Mel's unspoken threat.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
It's not just that Ouma is celebrating the anticipated downfall of the Japanese imperial family - those fragments are being paraded through the streets for a very practical reason, and they're not in the same procession. Each of the mikoshi also has an attendant outfitted in ... well, they LOOK like priest's robes, or those of an ancient court onmyoji, either of which is ironic as hell all things considered. But between the two fragment-enshrining mikoshi, Ouma's daemonic parades are attempting to triangulate the locations of the other fragments - or more specifically, the one that hasn't been claimed yet. They'll worry about Shinra's fragment later.

And it doesn't look like the revelling youkai are taking Mel's threat terribly seriously. One burly figure who'd been slouching along suddenly stands upright, coincidentally reclaiming most of a meter in height (how *DO* you slouch like that, anyway?!) and the oni wrests a lamppost out of the sidewalk, taking a few practice swings like a batter warming up ... and the other youkai don't seem to give much of a shit about the metal pole whizzing over their heads, as long as it doesn't *hit* any of them. A couple of kappa also break ranks and walk more quickly towards Mel, rolling their shoulders and doing their own warm-ups ... much like you'd see sumo wrestlers getting ready before they throw down.

Still, about ... oh, half of the parade? Mostly smaller oni, and a rokurokubi and a couple of tanuki? They *do* turn around ... but mostly it's to moon Mel and her sword. And they keep walking, backwards, so they're still 'advancing,' even if some of them have their pants down (or their robes hiked up).


Of course Xiaomu is with her partner; she may actually be in the lead, having figured out where the fragment was most likely to be, and being a little less vulnerable to lingering death-curse than the very human Reiji. "Whoever grabs the fragment is gonna have to keep it safe, though," the sage fox notes quietly. "That means either splitting off an escort to get it back to HQ, or just keeping it guarded while we try and squelch the uprising." She makes a thoughtful noise, "Wonder if there's any way we could spread Masakado's active influence further ... he *does* technically cover all of Tokyo, and our agents in Akiba have said it's still all quiet there. Even the catgirl meido are taking it easy and looking after their customers ..."

Xiaomu trails off, poking at the 'ground' ahead with the butt of her staff, then conjures a thick layer of ice across the next few meters. It reduces headroom a bit but there were some serious cracks in the sewer floor; better safe than sorry?

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
<<It's practically a victory parade. And worst still, we're all but advertising where the Fragments are. This isn't good. If all else fails, we can steal the fragments and preserve them from Shinra. As long as we have at least one, then the Confederacy doesn't lose.>>

Offers Yari over the radio as she waits. There's a tone of nervousness and maybe even...regret? In her voice. This doesn't feel like a proper military action. It's one thing to kick down Shinra and the government. Quite another for the slaughter that awaits.

But either way, they need the fragments, and in that much she can agree wtih her fellow Confederates.

Yari doesn't yet realize the presence of the Union, what with Vivio high in the sky and surrounded by too many youkai. She occasionally has to bat a tail or two out of the way. Pffffft, fur to the mouth! Still, she does stop to dance briefly with one of the younger youkai even while keeping an eye on Kirikou and the Twins.

Fire and Thunder eventually get scooped up in Yari's revelty, dancing around with them in quick spins! Yari looks like she's enjoying herself a little too much tonight!

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    Mel stares flatly at the procession.


    An oni- /is/ that an oni? It looks like one- stands up.


    Most of the procession moons her.


    The cars start flying.

    One torpedos straight towards the presumable oni. It's aimed so that it slams down into him - only to suddenly lift up, and then SMASH down again. And again. And again. Another pair are hurled straight into the kappa. Two more are tossed into the crowd. The Marshal waits all of about five seconds; and then the massive truck turns itself sideways before launching at the horde as well, aimed so as to sweep as many of them as possible.

    Finally, calmly, the psychic puts both hands on Hravn's grip. "I'm not messing around here." The weapon is pulled up into an aggressive guard. "Alright, now that you understand I'm not just blowing smoke, last chance. Go. The hell. Home. Or I will start getting rough." She still has five cars left.

    Privately, Mel communicates with Hravn. 'I need to know how much wind you can make. Absolute, top-end output with me as your user.'

Reina Kinney has posed:
Xiaomu seems to know what she's going, so Reina lets Xiaomu take the lead while she lags behind slightly to act as cover just in case something happens. For the time being, though, things seem to be fairly all right, which is fine with Reina, since a place like this is not one of the better locations for a fight honestly.

It's only when Xiaomu stops suddenly, then invokes an ice spell of some kind that Reina is startled a little. After that's done, Reina half-smirks. "Nice trick," she comments. "I can do a similar one myself, but it doesn't stay in one place I'm afraid, so I'll leave that freezing-the-floor stuff to you."

Camilla Ulyssa (1056) has posed:
    Oh it's that cop again.

    Camilla grins, whipping both of her blades out. Telekinesis, huh? Fancy. Her swords shine, bright white and blue. From her position near the fragment, amidst the march of youkai and demons, she crosses the twin blades in front of her in an X.

    "Threats don't usually work, you know?"
    <They do if you back them up like she is.> her sword argues with their male voice. Camilla glares at them. "Are you on my side or hers here?!" <Whichever amuses me. Also, you're wasting time.> "Why you-- shit, right!"

    She slices. Too much time wasted. She didn't even have enough to think of a cool name for this technique. Damn, what a god damn loss.

    Blades of blue light and energy lash out, straight for the incoming cars. All of them? Yeah, pretty much all of them. The blades break apart, shattering into a hundred cuts. A wall of luminous slashes, so fine and numerous it's not scrap that'll be left of those cars, it's dust.

    None reach Mel. Maybe it was intentional, or Camilla overestimated her reach when spreading the power so thin. Either way, it should provide very efficient shielding for the army of demons, while Camilla remains floating by the fragment and its shrine.

    "Come on now! There's better targets than the small fry here. Don't be so boring." A taunt, or an invitation. Either or.

Kirikou (127) has posed:
    And that's one reason Kilik likes Yari. He wouldn't get along with a kid-hater for long. But between her and himself, he's content enough that his young Weapons are in no danger. The parade may be drawing attention to itself, but he's confident of being able to act before the Twins themselves draw any hostile attention.

    <<Problem is we don't have one. Ouma has two, Shinra has one.>> Kirikou says into his mouthpiece. They had to let Ouma use the shards to locate the remaining shards after all. Right now the Confederacy's holding nothing. Well, that should change soon enough. Either they'll find the final shard and claim it, or the Shinra people will show up and decimate some Youkai and the Fed elites with that group will get to pick up the pieces. Probably. Assuming they don't lose entirely to Shinra and guests... and Kirikou's not about to go down without a fight.

    And yeah, Kilik's still pretty clueless about the presence of Union peeps. He's not with the group confronting Mel, which is fine with him. She and that sword of hers are NOT fun to face! Well okay, they /were/ pretty fun. Just that's not the sort of fun he's looking to go through just now. Either way he's sticking close. Very close, in fact, to the Twins. He has to. If shit hits fan, he needs to be within a few steps of them to keep them safe. <<Do we have any sign? Of the last bit maybe? Or organized enemies?>>

Reiji Arisu has posed:
    "I doubt there's much we could do about Masakado from down here," Reiji mutters, holding Karin's flaming edge into the darkness. The fire has the added benefit of burning through most of the scents one would traditionally associate with the sewers. "Unless this fragment's been sitting on a major dragon line, we'd need to set up a pretty big array to give him more elbow room."

    Also, if they DID expand his territory, he'd just get that much more uppity. They already do all kinds of crap to keep him happy and satisfied. How much worse would it get if they expanded his area of responsibility to All of Tokyo? But it's not like he's the only one enshrined in this place. "If we do that, I want to bring in Tokugawa, too."

After all, he's sitting pretty up in Ueno right now. Lazy bum.

    "When we find this thing, I'll try to run it somewhere safe," he says, then, gingerly stepping onto the frozen floor. "The sooner we secure it, the better. And in the worst case..." In the worst case, he can deny anyone and everyone access to that shard. Permanently. But there are good reasons he doesn't want to do that. "Careful. Don't slip."

Vivio Takamachi (737) has posed:
    Vivio watches with some amazement at the size of some of the oni. They look big... That could be fun to fight. And then a bunch of the demons proceed to moon Mel...

    Vivio giggles.

    And then cars start flying into the group. It's an impressive sight, though Vivio is briefly concerned whether their targets will be okay... Well, they're demons. They can take a few car hits, right?

    Still, despite Mel's final offer, Vivio can't help but think after that assault the procession isn't just about to let things go. Vivio turns to her Device floating beside her, "I guess that's out que. I'm probably going to need you for this one." The plush bunny nods, flying over to float in front of Vivio before floating backwards and disappearing into her chest. Vivio closes her eyes...

    ... And opens them again, a shine of determination within them. Vivio bangs her fists together, "Let's do this!" She pushes off the side of the roof and starts to run down the side of the building towards the procession beneath.

    Once Vivio reaches about half way down, she pushes off from the side of the building and starts to fall straight towards the center of the procession. Iridescent magic begins to form around her hand. Those demons below would hear the call from above, "Axel-" Vivio swings towards the ground rushing up before her, "-Smash!"

    There's a brief flash of light before the magical energy rushes outwards from the point of impact, ripping up the street and throwing anyone caught in it away. As the dust and smoke fades, Vivio can be seen standing in the center of the crater she'd just made. She announces to the collection of non-humans around her. At least, those whose ears aren't still ringing from her explosive entrance, "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid we'll have to stop you from achieving your goals of killing people. Because that's what will happen if this plan succeeds!"

Sanary Rondel has posed:
<<"Seriously... Even I ain't that dumb.">> Sanary laughs lightly before sighing again, distracting herself with the sight of Yari and the twins having fun. She squints a moment later, however, as she spots some sort of movement ahead of her that isn't Metal Man and his Snipers. <<"Well, no need to go that far yet. Do we know where they're even holding the thing? Might need you in position to...">> The healer trails off as she catches sight of Vivio in the air and Mel hurling cars at the procession, and Camilla moving to intercept said cars. <<"And there they are. O... Kay. Psychic cop's throwing cars, so watch your heads out there. There's one more coming from the air, too. Incoming!">>

     Sanary still hasn't moved from her position on the roof yet, although she does keep her gaze flitting between Vivio and the streets below for the time being, eventually leading to the same spot as Vivio heads for the ground. <<"Kilik, Yari. Any ideas where they might be hiding them in there? Metal Man, Camilla. Don't get yourselves too worn out defending the youkai.">>

Metal Man (11) has posed:
Things are getting messy up top and metal watches the Parade for the moment the old Wily robot watches the Oni move in. This was pretty trippy in some ways and he'd be letting Shadow Man just /see this/ Given the alien robot's love of Japan and it's culture. However he knows he'll be likely joining the Joes that are also lurking in the sewers. The joes plod foeward under the city trying to make for the objective as Metal Commands them much like someone playing an RTS.

<<I see them Sanary let's get ready fot it.>>

Crash Man however is holding back givne his function is to the explosion factory.

<<I'd not shocked if one of them is keeping the stone on them some how or at the very least our nerdy fox girl knows where. If we have to we use Reiji to get to her and the item...>>

Yes let's pick on Kyosuke Nambu's lost brother, that can't possibly end badly.

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
Thanks to Kirikou and Sanary, Yari gets a warning as down comes crashing Vivio! The smoke kicks up, the young woman aks them all to stop. Truly, this whole procession indeed offers violence and Yari knows it deep down. She scowls deeply, and can't quite bring herself to disagree.

<<Ah! Contact! I'm not sure where exactly they're stored in those things, but I will do my best to liberate them if necessary>>

Out from the smoke, the kimono-clad ninja attempts to sneak up behind on Vivio, a trio of paralysis-venom tipped needles in her hands. Reaching out, she tries to use her artificial arm to grab her from behind in a sleeper hold and shove those needles into any fleshy-cloth bits she can get at.

"A human like you isn't wanted here. Sleep."

<<Take care of the kids, Sanary, Kirikou!>>

Heaven's Armory (1014) has posed:
    Hravn answers Mel's question via radio. No other particular action is yet taken by the sword, as none has been asked of her.

Kirikou (127) has posed:
    Getting a literal heads up from other Feds and from Vivio's own attack cry, Kirikou's quick to move. He holds up his arms and whistles shrilly. Fire and Thunder, alerted to the danger, also move quickly. They streak to his upraised arms, literally streaks of orange and yellow light, and re-form around his fists as those familiarly oversize gauntlets of destruction.

    No time to spare, really. Vivio's attack is powerful even if indirect. Kirikou shields himself from the blast, his fists somehow parting the blast to either side of him. He's still knocked flying though, arcing through the air to land nimbly a goodly distance away. <<Crap. We got meteor girl and psycho cop!>> Kilik calls out, recovering from his blast. He eyes the situation. He COULD go charging off to take on psycho cop once again. Only that's a few blocks away, and doing so could leave others open. So he just stands, straightens, and claps his hands together. The sound of metal on metal rings out, and he addresses Vivio. "You got guts, coming here alone." he says, not entirely unfriendly. <<No worries Yari. Nothing can harm them while I still stand.>> he adds, speaking only for the local Fed radio. And with that in mind, he continues with Vivio. Distracting her in the hopes it gives Yari a better stealth move. "You should leave before everyone gets to see those guts!" he suggests, grinning. Very white teeth, dark skin, darker clothes. Possibly all Vivio can see of him is teeth, eyes, and gleaming metal gloves.

Vivio Takamachi (737) has posed:
    Vivio turns as she is addressed by someone who is still standing. This combined with his confident words suggests that he's one of the greater threats amongst the procession. Vivio grins at the compliment, "Thanks!" She keeps grinning at what she guesses was supposed to be a threat, "Thanks again, for the suggestion. But I'm not finished trying to get you guys to stop and I don't give up easily!"

    Vivio is usually pretty good at keeping aware of her surroundings. Even more so when fused with her Device, who can track what's going on much better than she can. However, those pesky ninjas are good at avoiding being noticed! Especially when they have someone acting as a distraction. Vivio grunts as she suddenly finds herself in a sleeper hold, quickly moving her hand to grab Yari's artificial arm and struggle to keep it from strangling her. Meanwhile the poison needles hit their mark perfectly, but thankfully don't penetrate Vivio's magical defenses. Light flares from the impact point as her Barrier Jacket keeps the thin weapons from penetrating.

    Yari has Vivio in a bad position right now. But by doing so, has put herself in a bad position by bringing herself into melee range of a close combat fighter. Vivio begins to choke out, "D-Di-Divine-" An orb of magic appears in Vivio's free hand, which she proceeds to slip between her body and Yari's, placing it against the Ninja's stomach. Vivio then finishes, "-B-Buster!"

    It's not the strongest version of the spell Vivio can muster due to her situation, but the large blast of magical energy is still impressive and should either force Yari to release Vivio to dodge... Or just blast her away. Either way, Vivio manages to get free.

    Wasting no time, Vivio darts out of the smoke of the resulting blast, but not towards Yari. Instead she's heading straight towards Kirikou, eyes focused in determination as she unleashes a battle cry and magic-enhanced right hook towards Kirikou's head.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
One car flying at an oni with a big metal cudgel? It might as well be a baseball; the giant oni swings at the telekinetically-propelled car, and likely sends it flying back at the psychic sheriff. But the oni isn't expecting the SECOND impact by the same car - and several repetitions later, the oni is down on one knee, lamppost smashed into a piece of abstract street sculpture. The kappa actually manage to meet their respective projectiles head-on, and stand their ground for a moment ... but sumo is a matter of decisive and solid movements, and the only times it's a matter of direct force vs. force over any length of time are typically accompanied by a lot of jockeying for position and leverage. Mel's not giving them the chance - and she's also flinging additional vehicles into the crowd. Fortunately for the crowd, Camilla's on top of that situation - and with so many youkai all bunched together, many of them not paying serious attention to the threat, they kinda need her. A rowdy cheer goes up as the extra vehicles are reduced to so much scrap metal, too small to do serious damage ... at least in most cases.

Still, the youkai aren't going much of anywhere until the roadblock gets cleared; the four youkai who are carrying the mikoshi just set it down (very, very gently) and ... break out a jug of sake and some of those shallow drinking cups. Yeah, they're just gonna watch the brawl. Apparently the oni and those two kappa are the only real fighters in the group. Which might be kind of suspicious in its own right.

That leaves the other parade, still relatively unmolested for the moment and continuing to wind its way through the streets. And meanwhile, in the sewers ...

Xiaomu makes a face as her partner points out that Masakado may be one of Tokyo's guardian deities but he *IS* still an infamously restless troublemaker. She remembers the crap from last summer even better than Reiji does .... and somewhat more literally. "I think we're getting close," the sage fox says, as if changing the subject - although she does grin briefly at Reina. "Yeah, it can be handy when you're wandering around unstable footing. We're getting close to the fault line ...."

Her vulpine ears prick up, and she holds up a hand to the others. "Footsteps," she whispers, "or something - sounds like metal instead of leather or rubber. Let's get to the Stone before they get here."

She'll use the butt of her staff to rough up the icy surface and reduce the risk of slipping, but another few meters and they're on solid ground. There's a side branch up ahead which is *UTTERLY* dark, it seems to resist even letting light reflect into it ...

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    And most of her cars have been completely disintegrated. Well. That's a thing.

    "There's a problem with that line of thought," Mel calls out, the remaining cars shifting around her in the air. She starts to walk forward, shifting Hravn slightly, and fixes a stare on Camilla as she does so. It's a steady, calm advance. Unhurried, but also not slow. "I'm not real interested in being 'interesting' or picking 'good targets'. I got one goal and one goal only - clear all of you out of here so the good people of this city can rest easy and get in their cars tomorrow and drive to work."

    She pauses, and glances at the projectiles she carries. ".../most/ of them."

    Continuing, the Marshal adds, "But the funny thing is, now I've smashed up the goon squad, you don't have anyone distracting me from you. So you wanna play? Alright, let's play."


    All five of her remaining cars abruptly launch themselves at Camilla. Several tons of metal, plastic and rubber, all launched in an instant barrage that manages to come in from several angles. But having seen the previous display, it's little more than a distraction.

    The real attack comes when Mel sweeps Hravn up, and then swings her downward with all the force she can muster - both physical and mental. The physical is a brutal swing through the air. It's meant more to act as a 'casting motion' for what she's doing. Specifically, she's using Hravn's power to try and push out a concentrated blast of air, the most powerful blast she can unload straight at the enemy swordswoman.

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
Yari thankfully realizes the danger, but unfortunately she's practically grill-to-grill with Vivio and can hardly dodge even with her reflexes, at least entirely. Throwing herself to the ground as her needles snap against Vivio's defenses, both arms come up to block that blast of magic!

It sends the ninja skidding and rolling backwards tail-over-teakettle until she bowling-lizard-ball's into a small procession of the youkai gathered. A helpful spirit-kitty gets her on her feet, and a 'helpful' Oni douses her head in liquid courage and leaves her coughing until she pushes away in annoyance.

But Vivio is now up in Kirikou's grill with a magical punch, and rather than let her ally get beaten to a pulp, she makes several handseals and concentrates as magic surrounds her.

An illusion starts to settle near Vivio, the asphalt of the street seeming to harden and spike into sharp, jagged spikes and burning glass! Should it work, the illusory juts of hazards would burn like serpent's poison!

Kirikou (127) has posed:
    There are few things Kirikou admires more than a girl with fighting spirit. Or a guy with fighting spirit for that matter. He's not really sexist. And of course Vivio's in adult mode right now, so he has absolutely no reason to not anticipate a fun clash. He might feel a little bad punching a kid, but not someone who's apparently his own age.

    He wasn't threatening Vivio so much as he was making a joke though. His style doesn't actually involve turning entrails into extrails. "That's the spirit!" he grins, seeing her charge in at him. Dodge? Block? Naaaaah.... strike!

    With a cheerful and surprisingly non-malicious grin, Kilik braces, pivots, and sends one of his gauntlets straight at Vivio's punch, meeting it head-on. Not a technique a boxer would use, certainly, but one that's a bit more feasible with the oversize gauntlets he wears.

Heaven's Armory (1014) has posed:
    Sometimes, one might want to know, "what does a given windspeed mean in practical terms?" Or "what's the difference between a hurricane and everything else?" Or "what do those two red, triangular flags mean?" Fortunately, these are all answered by a single thing, the Beaufort scale. Or any equivalent wind force scale, but let's go with this one. A six is "plastic bins tip over," at 22 knots. An eight is "cars veer," at 34 knots. What Hravn answered Mel's query with was "safely, a nine." That is not what happens.

    Mel is the only one to hear Hravn, as she manages to--at least, it /feels/ like she manages it, even knowing that Hravn doesn't quite "talk" in "words" as a sword--fully verbalize a particular, short message. It's a familiar mantra, just slightly off what she has heard, audibly, once before. It's a mechanical sensation, an automatic system's response, delivering a verdict outside the immediate control of any party present or living. Immediately following that felt speech, Hravn's blade becomes incandescent.

    This won't fill the street, but at thirty meters a second, a force of wind reaches an "eleven" on the scale. This is the point at which trees are torn from the ground, and more than shingles are torn from houses. This is "widespread devestation." This is the force of wind that falls in front of Mel, and turns and rushes forward, flying down a line that might not be more than five meters wide, but even those far from the line of attack are going to feel the sudden storm, gone as quickly as it came.

Metal Man (11) has posed:
It seems things are about to get serious for Metal Man He sees some of the oni scatter others are now fighting as Mel's just throwing cars about like she's Guts Man and he makes sure to not launch too many blades if any at her because he knows how that is going to end for him if he even thinks about doing such things. Now he gets ready to leap off the bulding from where he is. He however holds off, why? Because his focus is entirely upon the Sniper Joes that he's directing down there leaving him a bit open up above the city. The Joes optics flare up bright red as they move in getting orders from Metal Man, they move suprisingly like living things as they close in and Metal knows it may not be enough to stop Shinra but it could slow them down a good deal and that's what he's intending to do. The Sniper Joes up front ready their riot shields and the then will move to open fire, the second group is trying to flank but the team down there would be able to notice and act against it.

Vivio Takamachi (737) has posed:
    Fist meets fist. The blast of energy from the resulting strike (primarily Vivio's magic) expands outwards to the sides. No doubt both would feel the impact of each other's strike. But through the pain, Vivio can't help but smirk. Such a counter is very much the type of thing she's done before. Surely this man would make for an excellent fight!

    Unfortunately the current situation does no lend itself well to a friendly bout. Vivio suddenly notices the street itself jutting out to try and stab her. She is forced to jump away through the air to avoid Yari's illusion, but not before some of it rips into her and burns.

    Vivio lands again, wobbles for a moment, but then steadies. She stands as she looks at her two opponents. Being forced away from Kirikou was a shame, but it does place her in a great position to assault both at once!

    A triangular spell circle appears on the ground beneath Vivio as she starts, "Sonic Shooter..." A dozen orbs of iridescent magic appear floating in the air around Vivio... Hmmm, there are two of them. She should probably up her game. Another dozen orbs appear beyond the first. The strain of that many shows on Vivio's face, but she doesn't succumb as she whips her hand out towards the two, "Assault Shift!"

    The orbs of light warp into beams which streak towards Kirikou and Yari, peppering them with magical explosions. Unfortunately the building behind them suffers the same fate as walls and support beams are vaporized by the blasts.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
And then things are going to shit rather quickly. Yari and Kilik dealing with Meteor Girl, Camilla dealing with Psycho Cop, reports from various 'onmyoji' about movement in the sewers, and... Meteor Girl launching something at the very building Sanary's on.

     Decisions, decisions. Unluckily for Sanary, the decision's made for her when the building promptly starts turning into rubble. She leaps off of it in an attempt to bring her giant gunaxe down on the punching girl to smash her into the pavement, but her jump is a little off the mark and she smashes through the ground instead!

     <<"Geh... Watch your back, Metal Man. Looks like I'm heading down, too!">> Luckily, though, that landing takes her right into the sewers themselves with only a small amount of splatter! And yet, unluckily... She's face-to-face with the trio going through said sewers. The healer gives them a rather deadpan stare, then sighs and readies that massive weapon against her shoulder while readying her shield.

     "... Close enough. Alright, fun's over. We can do this the easy way or the hard way." She doesn't sound particularly interested, but she is in Reiji's, Reina's, and Xiaomu's way along with those Sniper Joes, and it doesn't look like she's here to talk!

Camilla Ulyssa (1056) has posed:
    "Good! You can't afford to be distracted. Or can you? I've never fought a telekinetic before, I'm not sure how to adapt my strength to that. I guess I'll just wing it!" Cars. Lots of cards. Camilla obliges Mel, very literally.

    In a flash, one of her blades returns to its sheath, and the free hand goes from there to up ahead again. Her magical reserves burn like a big, great bonfire someone's gone and poured oil over, augmenting her speed, her endurance and her strength. One empty hand catches the first car to reach her.

    It's a bit clumsy. The impact causes her hand to dig into the side of the car a bit, through the metal, but now she's got a firm hold on it. Quite a few cuts and bruises, too, but as if she'd care. She swings the car, recklessly. Smashes the others out of the sky, sending them crashing into the buildings around, until she's not holding much a car anymore, just a battered frame. She discards it, as Mel and Hravn invoke wind. A lot of wind. Camilla steps off the ground again, and flies against the current. Is it safe? Most likely not. If Hravn's wind can cut, it does. If it can bruise, it does. Either way, the momentary wind tunnel allows Camilla to fly in place and accelerate to absurd degrees. Eventually she overcomes it-- eventually, the wind might even die.

    The moment that happens, Camilla suddenly speeds upward and crashes back down with all of her velocity, impacting the ground in front of Mel, sending concrete everywhere, and kicking up a dust cloud. From the dust cloud comes a bright, icy blue glow, and the pinging of Camilla's blades.

    <Your fate is sealed: continuous ice beam.>

    One can't see the slot machine of runes on the single unsheathed blade, but the meter and ahalf wide and tall beam of ice cold magic that blasts out of the sword towards Mel disperses the dust cloud moments later anyway.

    "Come on now! You've got a sword, use it like a sword! There won't be much of a city left if you try to keep me at range!" It's not a threat, it's the very real fact Camilla's ranged attacks are... well, see: meter and a half beam of ice. That's going to hit anything behind Mel if she dodges (and likely even if she doesn't), and the foxgirl is going to maintain the beam for the full thirty seconds she can if she isn't kicked out of it.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:

You are in a maze of twisty little passages, not remotely alike at all and not all terribly little. Tokyo's a big city and it needs big sewers.

In this case, the Joes have been making their way towards the Shinra agents and Reina from a different direction; they're in basically the same tunnel, but coming from the opposite direction.

And then Sanary goes spelunking, coming down ... RIGHT at the intersection next to the ominously dark tunnel. She can probably feel a very distinct chill from that side.

That also puts her in front of Xiaomu, Reiji, and Reina.

Kirikou (127) has posed:
    Kilik's got magic in his punch too, though it's well-contained and not given to explode out everywhere indiscriminately. He's a good guy after all. Well, for a given value of good at least. Still his own power - also that of his Weapon - protects him and he's not particularly injured by the clash of powers.

    Vivio's beam-of-building-destruction though, that's another matter entirely! The attack is too broad for him to effectively block. He's nimble though, and throws himself out of the way before the beam can do much more than scorch him a little. He watches the building begin to collapse, staring in wide-eyed amazement, also hearing Sanary's screeches as she's sent for a ride.

    "Damn girl. You seriously need to stop. If we don't beat you, either the youkai destroy the city or YOU do!" he says, not entirely able to pass the comment off as a joke. He's actually kind of serious, merely hiding it behind a somewhat insincere joke. Respecting an enemy is one thing... but it's pretty impressive that Shinra - and the Union, he supposes - are willing to trash this place just to stop it from being trashed by someone else.

    <<Yari. Think there's any chance we can take the fragment here? Two of us, one enemy. I don't mind beating her, but if she blows away some of the defenders we might be better off securing the stone.>>

    The words are delivered while he's recovering his footing. Kilik sets himself, then pounds a fist into the pavement. Like Vivio's own earlier attack, it kicks up a wave of power. It's weaker than the explosion she'd caused, but it carries more actual exploding paving chunks and stone and stuff as the energy of his fist detonates in the strike. Less raw force, more debris, and that debris directed in a cone at Vivio.

Reina Kinney has posed:
Reina does smirk a little more at Xiaomu, glad her joke had a positive effect, but then she stops when her ears prick up. "Footsteps?" She echoes in a whisper, listening carefully without moving her head around too much. It's somewhat faint, but Reina does sense the footsteps as well, and she narrows her eyes a little. "Someone else is here," She whispers. "And I don't think they're friendly."

That suspicion is confirmed when Sanary just happens to make her presence known in front fo Reiji, Xiaomu, and the red-hot red-head herself. Tsking a little, Reina shakes her head. "How nice of you to drop in. Unfortunately, you'll be dropping in more ways than one from the look of things!" She snaps the fingers on her right hand and her beam sword appears in her right hand. "Since neither of us is going to go peacefully, it looks like we're going to have to settle things physically." She smirks a little. "Although, when I dance with my foes, I'm a leader like no other!"

Reiji Arisu has posed:
    "I sense them too," Reiji says with sudden gravitas in his voice. "Multiple heavy footsteps. And one..." One Sanary Rondel. Of course, they'd send a whole bunch of shields to slow them down. "We don't have time for this," he mutters as Sanary interposes herself between them and their destination. "Rondel. I know you're not as bad as some of the others. Do you realize what will happen if these fragments are reunited? Do you understand what will be unleashed?"

"They call her one of Japan's Great Calamities. Tamamo-no-mae."

    "Hundreds of years of malice since her imprisonment," the exorcist mutters, dropping into a ready stance. Karin is returned to its sheath, and the tunnel briefly falls into shadow. "Hundreds of years before then, each century spent devouring the souls of men and toying with the lives of innocent people. All for her own amusement."

    "You know that we cannot allow her to be released," he thunders. "Stand aside," Reiji takes a step "Or I will force you aside!" And suddenly he's in MOTION. A terrible, inexorable rush of movement into and OVER the shield wall, terminated by coruscating arc of lightning. Chirai explodes from its sheath, swung in blindingly fast, narrow cuts into the gaps in his foe's defenses.

He doesn't spare time for mercy. This is far too important for that.

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
The crash of Vivio's beams into the building sends Sanary careening, and Yari's eyes go wide instantly. Oh, and there's the litte matter of debris. She instantly turns, making several handseals and jumping into the air! She can't help Sanary down here, but she can at least deal with the falling building. Spitting out a massive fireball that bursts into a small bombardment, she tries to flash-fry the larger of it so it doesn't end up impacting into the procession of youkai! There's marginally innocent ones in there, after all!

Kirikou's words give her pause, and then a small grin. An idea comes to her thanks to the man, and she forces her voice down to neutral.

<<The safety of the fragment is definitely our priority.>>

And then, the ninja acts. The first of Vivio's orbs gets leaped over in a dramatic backflip after she kicks off some of the falling debris. The next she ducks into a hard roll that rattles her legs and spine on impact, barely dodging it. Two more, and she's forced to kick one aside before the other brushes against her shoulder, sending her to a quick crouch. Her fake arm and kimono is smoking from Vivio's magic!

Yari concentrates, and three more Yari-clones appear! The ninja and her doubles leap, run, and otherwise leave speed-blurrs as they seem to 'defend' the container with the Fragment, a sudden ninja guardian force! Real-Yari and her fakes start to toss shuriken goadingly at Vivio, but mostly aiming for legs and arms and sides rather than anything meant to kill.

No, she wants to make Vivio mad with those poison-tipped weapons into pulling off another trick like that. Yari highly doubts the fragment could be destroyed by a simple laser blast.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
The problem with Kirikou's suggestion is that Ouma's youkai aren't going anywhere; the fragment is basically still heavily guarded, although the youkai are keeping away from the battle as well as they can - trying to go around it. There's a more contemplative sound to most of their cheering, though ... apart from the handful who yell Kirikou's and Yari's names as if they were cheering at a fighting tournament.

Meanwhile, Xiaomu comes to a halt as Sanary lands in front of the group. "Do you even know what Ouma is going to do if they manage to reconstruct the Killing Stone? Never mind resurrecting Tamamo-no-Mae, which *would* be all kinds of bad - the Sessho-Seki alone would be a supernatural weapon of mass destruction. Just *breathing* near it is deadly to mortals, and that curse doesn't care whose side you're on: you breathe the vapors, you're dead, and if you survive long enough to actually touch it, you're still dead."

Reiji's already on the attack and Reina's ready to back him up; that does't leave a whole lot Xiaomu can do on offense except for shooting around her partner and Reina. Which, to be fair, she totally COULD do - she's already moving for a better angle - but there's one other thing she wants to try and deal with.

Namely, when the Sniper Joes get close enough that she can see them setting up, she tries to channel enough of Suiren's elemental power to conjure a wall of ice behind Sanary - to make sure the Joes can't add their firepower to the confrontation. At least, not without breaking through the ice wall first.

On the bright side, that keeps Xiaomu from actually joining the fight as long as she's trying to keep that ice wall up.

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    The first thing Mel does is let out a very startled noise when Hravn unloads an incredible gust of wind, far above what she'd otherwise have expected. It comes at the same time as she has been told that she passes a 'judgement' - and the result is wide eyes, about a half-second before Camilla very suddenly slams into the ground in front of her. "Holy-"


    There's a half second of being blasted before the beam suddenly 'splatters' outward as if hitting an invisible wall. Mel has her left hand out, Hravn resting over her shoulder; the air between them flickers with the occasional, faint glimmer of purple as the barrier of pure telekinetic force bars the ice blast from passing her entirely. Behind it, a frost-covered Mel glares, grimacing faintly at the effective 'freezer-burn' and trying not to shiver too much.

    "See there's a problem with that line of thought too. I've had this sword for a few months tops. I've had telekinesis for a decade and a half."

    That's when a lamp post tears itself out of the ground behind Camilla and suddenly flings itself straight at her back.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
"Definitely not friendly. Sorry." Sanary actually manages a little smirk to Reina in response to that, although she's looking a little more caught off guard by the string of dropping and dancing... Puns? Quips? The healer doesn't look like she's sure how to even to react to that, and she even opens and shuts her mouth a few times before finally shrugging a shoulder. "... I got nothing for that. Uh. Dancing ain't my thing."

     Reiji and Xiaomu are easier to respond to, at least, and they gets a shield raised in their direction as the former's weapon is drawn. "Some ideas. I know they ain't all that good for..." Who /would/ all that destruction benefit, anyway? Another shrug, and Sanary braces the axe on her shoulder. "Well... Whatever. You know I can't just leave, either. I'm a soldier, remember? My job's not to decide what to do."

     Uttering a loud shout to psyche herself up, Sanary stomps into the ground/disgusting sewer floor before bringing her shield up against Reiji's blade, meeting it head on and sizzling even from her head from the crash of lightning surging through her. Her defenses are strong, but not impenetratble, and she's not quite in the right position to handle the ice separating her from the Sniper oes.

     "Gghk... All I have to care about... Is the people I'm responsible for!" Relying on the magic circulating through her to help her heal through that initial shock and to bolster her physical abilities, Sanary rears back before swinging her gunaxe one-handed in a huge arc around her and at Reiji. Although it's not the fastest attack by any means, there's enough force in it to carve massive gashes right through the walls of the sewer, never mind a person!

Vivio Takamachi (737) has posed:
    Vivio watches with some concern as the building she'd just incidentally assaulted proceeds to crumble and topple. She winces on instinct as it hits the ground (at least, those parts Yari doesn't stop) and kicks up a blast of dust and debris. After it's settled and Kirikou calls her out on it, Vivio laughs sheepishly, rubbing the back of her neck, "Sorry about that." She smiles, "Don't worry about it though! Once the fight is over, I'll get my mama, or maybe Hayate, to use some reconstruction magic. It'll be as good as new!" After all, Vivio and other Mages from her world are fully aware of the damage they can cause. Of course they are considerate enough to have ways to fix it!

    But now is not the time to worry about damage to the city. Vivio is fighting to keep people from being killed! As Kirikou unleashes the blast of debris at her, Vivio crosses her arms in front of her face as she is assaulted with bits of street. Her Barrier Jacket keeps the jagged rocks from causing too much harm, though it gets cut up in the process. Once the debris is past, Vivio lowers her arms again and grins, "Nice. But two can play at that game!"

    Magic gathers around Vivio's foot as she raises it up, before smashing it back into the ground again. The channelled energy causes a large part of street and earth to suddenly break off and launch just a few feet into the air in front of Vivio. As this happens, Vivio launches a standing spin-kick, her boot smashing into the briefly floating rock, sending it rocketing towards Kirikou.

    Vivio doesn't have time to observe the results of her attack though as she suddenly has numerous shuriken flying her away. She starts running... Straight towards them! Some she knocks away with her hands as she charges, others she twists around, their poisoned edges just barely cutting through her Barrier Jacket and skin beneath. The doses aren't serious and Vivio's Device fused inside her keeps the poison from having too much of an effect. It's his job as Vivio's partner to focus on her defense and survival so she can focus on attack.

    And attack Vivio does! She quickly closes the distance towards the Yaris and Ouma defenders near the fragment. What proceeds is a series of punches, kicks, magical blasts and body slams as Vivio darts from one defender to the next, from one Yari to the next, utilizing her close combat skills to batter them into submission... Or unconsciousness, whichever comes first!

Reiji Arisu has posed:
    "Yes. I suppose that's all you care for." Reiji says with some finality. What did he mean by that!? Sanary swings her tremendous axe. It hews through stone, cleaves through anything that stands in its path. If it scored a direct hit, that'd be it. The end of the line. Reiji would be so much paste on the wall.

But Reiji is not.

Because Reiji knows how to DODGE.

    The exorcist ducks into a crouch as that axe swings overhead. The wind whipping away from Sanary's swing slices into his brow, blood leaking down across his face. But his hand's already found its way to his rack full of weapons, tearing one away from the others with a solid 'clack' of clamps coming away. Hollywood swings up, as Reiji rises, its barrel levelled at Sanary's torso.

He depresses the trigger.

Several times.

The world fills with the scent of roasting wood and acrid gunpowder. Buckshot tears through the air. But can she block in time!?

Reina Kinney has posed:
As soon as Sanary makes her presence known and indicates she wants to fight, Reina immediately goes on the defensive, attempting to watch her and move carefully. She knows an opponent can be dangerous if underestimated. But one thing she doesn't estimate is the ice that's still on the floor. She misses a patch with her eyes, but her foot doesn't. She loses her footing and in an attempt to right herself, she twists and slams headfirst into the sewer wall. Unfortunately, the hit is a bit harder than it should be. She drops like a sack of potatoes and doesn't respond.

Camilla Ulyssa (1056) has posed:
    "Fair enou--OOF!" OOF is right. Mel's a cop, she knows how bulletproof vests work. Sure, they'll stop a bullet from putting a hole through you, but the impact's not magically absorbed. All that energy has to go somewhere. Now, the Vestis-- clothes, magical-- that Camilla wears might not be your common kevlar vest, but the same principles apply.

    The lamp post slams into Camilla's back. She remains on her feet, not budging an inch, save for the obvious grunt of pain and the fact she's slouched forward now. Under her clothes, there's a big, nasty lamp post-shaped blue gash across her back, but nothing's broken. Lucky her. The magical hardness of her clothes keeps the lamp post from pushing any further, at least, without another swing.

    "Really? Ugh. Here I was hitching for a sword fight. Mars, were you hitching to hit a fellow talking sword too?"
    <Leave me out of your fighting addiction, lady.>
    "Kinda hard to leave my WEAPONS out of that."
    <Get creative, not my problem.>
    "Well, fine."

    Camilla actually goes right ahead and sheathes her sword, so that the two blades are back into their sheath. She reaches back, to grab the lamp post that so rudely almost broke her back, and then violently swings it in an arc towards Mel. "We'll just do it this way then!"

    On the bright side she's not exactly paying attention to the demon parade or the fragments anymore. She tunnel visions pretty hard once she gets hyped up for a fight.

Kirikou (127) has posed:
    "Sorry, my Mom will fix it?" Kirikou asks incredulously, his tone sarcastic. Still, this is one person in the Union - well probably so - apparently willing to do what's needed, not counting the cost. Those are rare!

    Kilik oesn't really want to hurt Vivio, but then this whole fight isn't about beating up others. There's a goal here, and he's getting the idea from Yari's body language and actions that they're thinking much the same thing. He smirks, only to have the smirk wiped off his face as Vivio spin-kicks a rock at him. Wow, she's a LOT stronger than she looks! Then again... magic. He tries to dodge, but only gets it partway right. The rock smashes into an interposed gauntlet, spinning Kilik around and sending him sprawling.

    Fortunately Yari's able to keep Vivio busy, and she MIGHT have a shot at doing what needs doing. But Kilik gets up, dusts himself off, and starts to stride back into the fight.

    Deliberately, the Meister puts himself between Vivio (and Yari) and the parade. He drops into a wide stance. "Wall, it's been fun!" he quips. "But we ain't lettin' you get past us. Sorry 'bout this, but I'm all fired up now!"

    Raising his gauntleted hands up, palms upraised, Kirikou channels power into them. Power erupts, a fountain of flame surrounding one hand, a torrent of electric sparks around the other. Kirikou, in the middle, is buffeted by both sets of energies... but they don't seem to be causing him any harm even though the pulses engulf his head.

Metal Man (11) has posed:
The Sniper Joes react to Reiji opening fire with a volly of energy weapon fire but he's quick. He's about as fast as some combat robots or at least as agile as some it's turning out to be a bad day for them AS Reiji does manage to cut down a trio of the joes making a hole in the wall, oddly ther shields are mostly intact far more than thier bodies are as they lay there sparking in the muck and water of the underground.

Metal man is now moving to catch up with his drones but he's likely going to be too late while Crash remains top side while he's going ot hopefully be able to help Sanary if she need an evac afterwards.

The joes are firing where they can and Xiaomu would have one coming and and over it's loud speaker comes Metal man's voice.

"You both fight well, but I ask why do you protect these humans?"

The Shinra Fox girl is giving the Joes a hard time as Xiaomu might expect but even their surge protectors have their limits and they eventually give out dropping more and some of the few remaining ones are firing on her wall and ones? Chucks a grenade.

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    The downside to all this is that in the moment Camilla is reaching back, Mel drops her telekinetic barrier to lunge forward. It leaves her wide open to a sudden incoming hit. Her arm instinctively comes up, but it's not fast enough to stop the hit. All she can do is disperse the force, telekinetically hardening her body so that it 'spreads' and becomes a whole-body hit. That hurts. That hurts like hell. It's enough to stagger her several steps to the side, and shortly thereafter, the Marshal spits towards the street. It's red.

    "Gh... shit, that's what I get for dropping my guard. But alright, if you want to play it like that..."

    Mel lunges in, and suddenly she's holding Hravn in preparation to actually /attack/. Her strikes are simple, straightforward; she's not a great swordswoman with years of experience, but despite her protests, she HAS practiced, enough to at least use the weapon properly. She lunges in with a quick series of slashes, aiming to put Camilla on the defensive, to lure her into a 'blade lock' with the lamp post.

    That's when the space cop pushes her will through the blade to release a sudden, concussive burst of air. She's trying to set it off right in Camilla's face.

    But she's stopped using her telekinesis entirely. Why is that? Well, the youkai around the Sesshou-Seki fragment might be alarmed to notice that the container for it has begun to float up into the air seemingly under its own power. She's trying to get it up to the rooftop, out of the way.

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
It doesn't take /that/ much to deal with Yari's clones! They're more or less illusions anyway, and with every hard punch, kick, or blast to the snoz causes a pomf of smoke to kick up in the air! One particularly hard strike on the actual Yari is met by an interceding kunai, then a kick of her own, only for the ninja to be forced back behind the young man! With her poisons not working particularly well, she's somewhat outmatched on the hand-to-hand front while she can't use all of her weapons. Besides, there's a plan forming.

Yari makes a show of gathering magic as Kirikou starts up his own lightshow. Indeed, there's no subtlety here as she seems to charge up lightning magic around her!

Her handseal shifts, and there's the slightest of motions. In her place, Yari has a clone doing the same thing, even as she ends her shift off to a convenient hiding spot near the Fragment's locations, and just out of what she hopes would be the blast radius. Crouched, hand holding a good half dozen smoke bombs, she waits for the inevitable destruction...and for the time to make her move.

Heaven's Armory (1014) has posed:
    One might expect a long, thin sword like Hravn to be the kind of thing you really don't want to swing at a lamp post. Generally, swinging it at anything made of metal at great force, especially if that thing is swinging back, is a good way to break, or at least dull, a sword. For some reason, neither of those things happen.
    Oh, right. Magic.
    A more reasonable prediction, given Hravn's sharpness and hardness, would be that she'd slice right through the improvised weapon. For some other reason, that doesn't happen, either, at least until Mel either gets the blade lock she's trying to bait Camilla into, or something changes the game.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
This is a pretty crappy situation, even apart from being in the sewer system. Maybe Xiaomu was being too careless with the ice magic earlier, but she hears Reina's head hitting the wall and *winces* at the sound of the impact. Then she has to dodge like hell to make sure she doesn't get cleaved in twain by that massive gunaxe. And on top of worrying about Reina and Reiji?

Yeah, that ice wall really ISN'T going to hold the Joes for long. Xiaomu does a double-take as she hears Metal Man's voice coming through the ice.- and she nearly regrets the distraction, bolting up practically onto the *ceiling* as the grenade blows her ice wall into snowcone ingredients. As if you'd want a snowcone made from sewer ice - even if the water was clear when it was conjured, *still*, ew.

Screw good manners; Xiaomu draws both handguns and goes all-out gunkata on the Sniper Joes, actually bolting up the tunnel to meet them as she leaps and bounds all over the tunnel - moving in three dimensions as opposed to the usual two, trying to get angles that the Joes' shields aren't covering them against. She's wasting anti-spirit rounds at the moment, but she'll worry abotu that when she reloads (and she's got a good supply of both).

"You SERIOUSLY wanna know why I protect 'these humans'?" Xiaomu calls out over the sounds of various and assorted gunfire. "Didn't I tell you most of that in Aokigahara? Don't tell me we damaged your memory core along the way!"

Xiaomu pauses briefly, zig-zagging frenetically back and forth across the corridor to throw the remaining Joes' aim off - as well as to confuse their shielding. *She* would chuck a grenade, but she knows better than to do that in close quarters, especially in a sewer tunnel. "Plus, I've been doing this for literal centuries - I've been on humans' side since I got my name, and that's not the kind of thing you give up on just because you run into a bunch of complete brainless bigoted idiots along the way! Yeah, mortals can be astonishingly dense dumbasses, and I've run into more of those than anyone should ... but once in a while, now and again, even if they're a century or so in between? There are people who can *LEARN!*"

That may be the last Sniper Joe she's putting some bullets into on the heels of her last statement, as if for added punctuation.

Meanwhile, above ground ...

The first Ouma parade troupe is still cheering Camilla on against the human policewoman. The second group - well, just because the youkai are leaving most of the fighting to Yari and Kirikou doesn't mean they CAN'T fight, and when Vivio tries to plow through them, they resist. They may not be able to do THAT much, but - well, Ouma hires kappa for a reason; there's a particularly squat and kinda ugly specimen near the mikoshi, and he (that *is* a he, right?) just aims a palm strike square at Vivio's solar plexus. A regular and unprotected human (read: not an Elite) would at least get flung back off his feet with the wind driven out of his lungs, and in a worse case, might be dealing with a bunch of cracked ribs around the sternum, maybe even a temporary glitch in his heartbeat.

Vivio is probably made of sterner stuff than that, but the kappa apparently doesn't quite grasp what 'Elite' means in terms of the Multiverse. Odds are he's about to find out.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
"Yeah... I do." Sanary's tone is even as the axe leaves a wake of destruction and suspicious stains on the wall as it cleaves through nearly everything in its path, but unfortunately doesn't quite hit the mark against Reiji. It's not quite the best position for the axe-healer to be in, considering the speed and skill advantage he has over her, but with him moving even closer to her, actually swinging that weapon again isn't going to work quite so well unless Reina or Xiaomu move into swinging range.

     It's a small blessing that they're both occupied, at least, leaving her to focus her full attention on all those bullets coming towards her gut. The first two find pruchase in her midsection, drawing spurts of blood and only partially halted by that specially-woven shirt underneath her coat. She's able to cram that giant shield between herself and the barrel before the next rip through her, but instead of backing away...

     "... N-not going down that easy. My turn." She keeps advancing. The gunaxe's head makes a loud banging noise as it hits the ground, but the gun barrel in the handle of the weapon is swung around as she attempts to pin the too-many-swordsman between it and the shield with herself and return the favor with firepower of her own!

     Literally, even. Instead of regular bullets, the barrel in the gunaxe's handle is spitting out fire! Sanary manages a pained laugh after that, although it's clear that she's reeling quite a bit from those close-range shots right into the gut. Blood loss will do that! Still, that healing magic is keeping her standing, and she's more than willing to trade blows instead of out-skilling anyone!

Camilla Ulyssa (1056) has posed:
    That lamp post makes for a poor weapon. A great club, but a poor weapon. There's no grace or skill possible with it; Camilla just swings, and swings, strikes telegraphed half a hour ahead despite her strength and speed. Something about it's off-- she's holding something back. The motions she makes seem like they should produce much better results than repeated, harmless clashes with Hravn, until a blade lock occurs. 'Blade' lock, anyway.

    The sudden burst of wind, and the magical sharpness increasing out of nowhere, bisect the lamp post, with enough momentum if Mel wanted she could get a slice on the fox's cheek. Whether she takes that shot or not, the blast of wind that follows actually knocks her back a few feet, and also messes her hair up royally. She doesn't seem to be taking it too badly though. She laughs, actually, despite the almost black eye that wind burst gave her.

    "Better! MUCH better! Keep at it, don't pause!"

    She has no attention left for the fragment. It's all on Mel and her sword. Camilla doesn't reach for her weapons, instead clenching her fists and having them glow blue. Another burst of speed and strength, scaling up with her enjoyment, adapting to match what she feels her opponent can take.

    She lunges in. Starts punching. With each blow, a blast of raw magic, inefficient and flashy, but still dangerous. A flurry of punches, dozens, hundreds if Mel intends to defend. She'll punch until Mel's defense breaks, or until she's given a good reason not to anymore. And with her hands wrapped in that glow, she can handle being blocked by a sword just fine.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
As for the mikoshi which Mel is trying to telekinetically remove? There are a few problems with that. First is the quartet of youkai who have been carrying the thing around - they may not have been carrying it at the moment, but when the portable shrine starts floating up, they abandon their recreation and grab hold of the horizontal shafts, not trying to lift but to *pull down*. And they're strong enough between them to handle a weight which it would take eight to twelve regular, relatively strong humans to carry. These aren't lightweights.

The second problem is the onmyoji who'd been observing the fragments: he may be a kitsune of some type himself, although there's no visible tail, and his tall hat may be hiding any telltale vulpine ears. Whatever his true nature may be, he DOES possess magic of his own - and a series of ritual gestures, accompanied by a quick incantation, set up a warding spell of his own around the fragment's mikoshi. Whether that actually INTERFERES with Mel's TK is another question entirely, but it certainly won't make things easier.

What *might* make things easier, though, is another voice starting to chant some distance behind Mel - a counter-incantation. Looks like Shinra's personnel are starting to reach the scene ... not just at that parade group, but the other 'parade' as well. The Shinra regulars have finally managed to quell enough of the marauding youkai throughout the city to begin converging on the groups with the Sessho-Seki fragments: onmyoji, priests, miko, monks, even some relatively secular martial artists. (And, in all likelihood, a few ninja ... but good luck picking *them* out.)

There are *reasons* why Ouma hasn't overrun Japan yet. Reiji and Xiaomu are just two of them, and there are plenty of others.

Metal Man (11) has posed:
The Joes are made to not deal with Elites and they won't last forever. They are however fairly well programed and not your standard point and shoot drones. They are laying down fire and trying to use what cover they can, thankfully they don't need to worry about Sewer snowcones ever they can't even eat. Xiaomu opens fire the joes are working fairly well to block some of the shots but they can't block all of them and they are not made to deal with magic.

"Yes you did but it's also served to distract you."

Anotehr Joe goes fown from her gun shots take the the last two Joes are withdrawing though but one might hear the sound of foot falls. Metal Man is coming and maybe this is going to heat up some more.

Vivio Takamachi (737) has posed:
    It's the strike from the kappa that cause Vivio to back off from her assault, jumping back away from the fragment defenders and landing again. She did feel the blow, but not as badly as the kappa might have expected. Vivio is breathing a little heavily as it's been a tough fight. She can feel the tiredness trying to creep in and convince her to stop. But she shakes it off, firming her resolve once more to stop this plan from succeeding and leading to the deaths of who knows how many.

    Vivio watches as Kirikou places himself between her and the fragment behind. She tilts her head a little as she listens to him... Ahhhh, she understands. When Yari apparently joins him, charging up some kind of lightning attack (seriously, IT'S ALWAYS FREAKING LIGHTNING!) Vivio smiles softly, lowering her head a little, "I see..." She taps the tip of her boot against the ground as she asks, "It's that time, huh?" An orb of iridescent light appears in Vivio's hand, which she swings out above her. The orb floats forward and begins to grow both in size and intensity.

    As the orb grows larger and large, Vivio begins to float up off the ground just to keep up with its size. She looks up again at her opponents with a smile, "I'm sorry too. As much fun as it's been, I still can't let you use that thing to kill everyone." Vivio moves a foot back as she brings her arm around, closing her hand into a fist. She calmly begins, "Sacred..." The hum of energy coming from the now large orb of magic is very noticeable now. Which is why, as she swings, she cries out to finish, "BLAZER!"

    As Vivio's fist impacts the large orb of a magic, a large circular spell circle appears and spreads out from the contact. The orb then bursts, the massive rush of energy screams down the street towards the two, easily large enough to engulf them. It doesn't stop there though, continuing on to swallow up the Ouma and potentially more of the demon parade. Though thankfully for their sakes, Vivio's magic is non-lethal and as such won't kill them, or really harm them all that much. Though, depending on their strength, many are likely to be left unconscious as a result of the powerful blast. The beam does eventually taper off, though only after it's teared up a long scar through the street.

    Following the blast, Vivio falls back down to the ground and drops to one knee. That attack always takes a fair bit out of her, especially towards the end of a tough fight. As she pants to catch her breath, she looks up to see how her opponents faired.

Reiji Arisu has posed:
    Healing magic can be a bitch, especially when it's affecting the OTHER guy. Reiji growls as he's suddenly sandwiched in between a rock and a hard place. Or rather, a rock and a Sanary place. He's a pretty mobile guy, but trying to dodge 'a wall' is kind of tough to pull off.

    As a result, Sanary's flame catches him straight on. Reiji yells as his nerves transmit every moment of his surprise immolation to his brain. But at least they're not bullets, and that means he can still move. And that means he still has the space to do what needs to be done.

Out of the corner of her eye, Sanary might just see an arc of lightning.

    Suddenly, that arc turns into a pulse. Then a halo. A wreath of lightning coruscates around the exorcist's arm, sweeping through the wild flames erupting from her gunaxe's barrel, swallowing it up, feeding upon it. Reiji stares at her through the guttering flames, a large swath of his torso charred, the ballistic coat protecting him turned from red to black. And still he glares.

"Fire," he says, "Returns ash to the Earth."

    Then, he fires Hollywood straight into the flat of his foe's shield. Gunsmoke billows from the barrel as its concussive power forces the shield away just enough for Reiji to slip aside--

And sweep the supercharged wakizashi, Chirai, Earth-Lightning, right up at Sanary's flank. One, two, three, four, five slashes, each one lashing with arcs of biting lightning!

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    If Mel were more fully focused on the mikoshi - and not trying to let on what she's doing, preferring to keep Camilla focused on /her/ - her reaction to the four oni trying to pull it back down would be approximately, 'That's cute.' However strong the youkai might be, their attempt more or less goes unnoticed. It continues to rise with the four of them hanging on, completely unabated. Mel Brock is a woman who can lift a hundred tons with her mind, before stripping off her limiter. Hope they have good grips...

    ...because once that ward goes up, Mel sure doesn't. Her psionics aren't truly 'magic'. But the ward still interferes; it's like trying to hold something with a mind, it gets slippery, she has difficulty keeping it in the air. At least until the counterspell starts. Then there's quiet relief.

    Right up until a punch clips her jaw.

    The mikoshi wobbles in the air before she catches it. But while that recovers, Mel herself is having trouble. She's not a proper swordswoman. She's had Special Forces-tier close combat training, but that means little for something like this. All she can do is weave, parry, try to evade or avoid. Camilla has her on the defensive, and the pressure will get through her defenses again quickly if she keeps this up. Fortunately, however, the Marshal's sword isn't ordinary.

    She twists Hravn up and makes a parrying motion, creating a solid wall of air that will deflect at least a few magically-charged punches. And in that moment, Hravn can feel a few things click in her wielder's mind. Using magic to boost power. To amplify attack. Compressed air. Sword swinging.


    When Mel suddenly lunges forward again, she attempts to create a blast of compressed air at the /back/ of Hravn's blade, lending the swing both strength and speed to make up for her own lack of experience. "HAAAAA!"

Kirikou (127) has posed:
    Okay this might've been... not quite the best idea.

    Kirikou's taking his time, both because this technique simply can't be done lightly and because he's secretly luring a shot in response. He'd smile, seeing Yari backing up the play, if he could spare the effort. He LIKES that woman, no doubt about it. It's good when someone like that, who thinks like you do, has your back.

    He could have completed it faster perhaps, but spending more time just allows him to gather more power. And when the beam, so vast and seemingly destructive, fires out... well, it's a good thing Kilik trusts himself as much as he trusts Yari.

    Kirikou might not have the destructive capability of a Takamachi but what he does have is tightly-focussed, both extremely destructive and powerfully-protective. There's no way he could launch that beam through Vivio's own attack and still have anything left to hurt her with, but he throws it just before him anyways. Detonating the soul energies there he provides himself a shield of sorts. Not enough to completely block the beam, but enough to cut a hole out of the heart of it. Enough to keep him from taking the full force of the broad beam. It helps that he falls well below his full height, crouching behind his fists and behind his blast, letting the bulk of the attack wash around him.

    Of course, with THAT kind of detonation of power, no one's going to easily see what happened to Kilik. He's still covered by the explosion. Now, hopefully Yari's able to do what the Meister hopes she'll do...

Heaven's Armory (1014) has posed:
    Privately, Hravn is quite pleased with this turn of events. Oh, not the part where her wielder is getting punched--though that's really just part of the job, and expected. People she would pick out would never live quiet lives. People living quiet lives don't /need/ weapons of legend.
    She's happy that Mel figured out another trick, without so much as a hint. It's a good, workable one, too. Mobility is a prime asset of her magic, and force is just mass with changing motion.
    Solidified air can block attacks, sure--it's as strong as her magic makes it, and behaves curiously with respect to being dislodged, seeming "stuck" where it is, to some extent, rather than being blasted back according to Newton's laws. This trick is simple, and one she's used repeatedly, in recent days. The propulsion requires more finesse, but with the third gate unlocked, it's manageable. It's not as if it needs to be as thin as a whip--but the blast must be precisely shaped.
    A pleasant bonus to this technique, along with all her magic being essentially invisible, is that there's no real tell just before the sword seems to--and does--accelerate itself, hard enough to strain Mel's arms in keeping up.

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
Yari is suddenly /very/ much glad she decided to not stand in front of that beam even /with/ Kilik protecting her. Not only does it put her out of harms' way, but she gets to witness both the impressive power of Vivio's attack as well as how much it takes out of her!

Kirikou tanks most of the blow, much of it goes for crowd-and-container. Just what Yari was hoping for. To say her clone is utterly annihilated would be an understatement, as there's not even a white pomf of magic as she's hit by the backblast of the combined powers of Kiri and Vivio!

Instead, the kicked up dust and debris get out ten times worse as smoke bombs fly out as Yari speeds from her hiding place to provide cover for what she's about to do! Speeding into the likely wreckage, she hunts for the Fragment, hoping to be able to grab it and duck towards the nearest alleyway while her smokebombs cover her!

With any luck, it'll seem like the ninja just dissappeared.

Camilla Ulyssa (1056) has posed:
    It's okay, Mel, your opponent doesn't seem to be that much more skilled than you. Those punches may be coming in fast and strong, but a cop's seen them a thousand times before. They rate roughly somewhere between "that really burly guy at the bar last week" and "this guy watched enough kung fu movies he somehow soaked some moves in". Camilla's got a bit more experience fighting with her fists than Mel with Hravn, but we're talking in months, not years.

    Helps when your sword is magic, though.

    In a feat of quick thinking the marshal replicates the way Camilla is grossly abusing her infinite mana pool to inefficiently boost everything she does, to accomplish a much more specific task. Too busy punching walls of air and laughing, Camilla doesn't notice that the pair is up to until the cop has become a rocket.

    Mel pierces Camilla's own defenses with ease, and the blade cuts right through her left side. Lucky her she manages to side-step the worst of it, but Hravn cuts through the fox's Vestis and draws blood underneath, leaving a nasty streak just around the ribs.

    The clothes mend themselves, but the injury doesn't quite. Still, she's... laughing. Enjoying herself. Camilla couldn't care less she just got hurt. This is GOOD now. She wants more.

    "You learn fast! Here I thought you were being totally honest with me about being a rookie with a sword. Let's step it up then! I've got a dozen more body parts for you to hit, keep at it!"

    The glow around her hands becomes intense, blinding, and she smashes her fists, both of them, into the ground. The ground quakes, light seeps through the cracks in the asphalt and concrete caused by the fighting. Pillars of light erupt from the ground. Under Mel. Under Mel again. Always under Mel. Where she goes, a new pillar forms. Camilla appears to be defenseless while she's pouring this much magic into the ground, but the air around her sparks, arcs of energy occasionally forming between tiny motes of light gathering about.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
"You think I didn't know that? Reiji's back there fighting your friend with the oversized axe -" One ear pricks up at the gunshot. "- and gun," she adds without missing a beat, "our other alley just got coldcocked, and I'm *keenly* aware that I'm just getting further away from both of them when they really need my help."

Xiaomu takes a few steps back towards the T-intersection where the other big fight is going on, ejecting the spent clips from her handguns and loading fresh magazines. "But I'm also aware that I *almost* beat you single-handedly back in Aokigahara ... I'm kinda glad you lived through that, I'd love to spend some time just talking. But I *really* don't have time for that right now, so if you actually show yourself, I'm going to take full advantage of what I know about you."

For now, though, she's hurrying back towards Reiji and Sanary, keeping her ears perked for additional footsteps behind her.

As for Yari's efforts to pilfer the fragment? Again, Ouma's members are *NOT* going to let that happen. Sure, they may not have done any of the so-called heavy lifting to *acquire* those fragments, but Ouma did the local groundwork, this is Ouma's scheme as a whole, and Sutoku's already going to be ticked off about localized betrayals - outright *failure* to retain those pieces is probably going to lead to murder, or something.

Although with Shinra closing in ...

Sanary Rondel has posed:
Sanary's got bigger things to worry about than a bit of light from the corner of her eye! If only she had two eyes for enough peripheral vision to realize just what that is.

     Alas, she... Doesn't. Not until it starts turning brighter and nigh-impossible to miss, anyway, and it gives Reiji that much-needed opportunity to knock her back with that next blast against her shield. Although the shield is withstanding everything rather admirably and her defenses are quite solid even as Reiji pivots to attack her from the side, the healer holding that shield isn't doing quite so well, especially not when that lightning courses through the metalbent shield. Metal and electricity don't mix well, after all!

     Still, there's not a lot of good options for Sanary to choose from between 'get electrocuted' or 'get cut apart'. At least the latter's easier to deal with, and so.. She drops the shield and pulls the gunaxe closer! It's not quite as good at protecting her from the slashes as the shield is, but at least she's not getting (as) shocked.

     Plus, it gives her an opportunity to pull out her trump card: Explosions! Namely, in the form of firing off a heat laser from her eye at the muck behind Reiji and creating an explosion, trying to blast them both at once in an attempt to do more damage to him than he can to her!

     Either way, though, she's probably not getting back up after that.

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
Yari's being actively stopped by the Ouma. The ninja scowls at her 'allies'. She has her orders. Lightning begins to glow along one of her arms, and she peers at them like fools. Her artificial arm is ready to take that fragment. Her tail points to the incoming Shinra troops.

"Would you like the fragment to fall into enemy hands? We're being overwhelmed, I will ensure the Fragment is protected! Now give it to me, this is for the sake of us all! You all should escape while you can!" She urges, one part hopeful, one part threat.

She's perfectly ready to fire a warning shot to make off with that Fragment, but hopefully good sense will prevail.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
The mikoshi that Mel is trying to 'steal' telekinetically is still rising into the air despite the efforts of the four oni - then three oni - then two, then one, and finally the last of them gives up.

Instead, all four of them charge straight at Mel, never mind that Camilla is already trying to fight the elseworldly law officer who has a sentient magic sword in her hand.

Vivio Takamachi (737) has posed:
    Vivio would totally try and stop Yari and/or the Ouma from escaping with the fragment. But she's currently being delayed by Kirikou, trading punches with him.

Reiji Arisu has posed:
    Sanary proves to be better at not dying than Reiji would have thought. But then, she's Not Died to worse than he's dished out today. The Onmyoji's lips draw into a narrow line when she suddenly reveals EYEBEAMS. Fortunately, she's not aiming at him. Unfortunately, she WAS aiming at... a mass of unspeakable ooze and poo gas.

    Everything suddenly explodes. Because THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SHOOT A HEAT RAY AT METHANE. Reiji growls as he leaps WITH the shockwave. "You idiot, do you know what that crap even is!?"

Crap. It's crap. Good job Sanary.

    He surges forward, carried by the blast wave, and DRIVES A KNEE right into Sanary's jaw. Flame cooks his back as he passes over her, turning it just as black as his front end. He'll need some medical care after this, but MORE IMPORTANTLY--

    Reiji... Turns around and goes to grab hold of the nape of Sanary's neck and whatever he can seize near her waist. "You want to use that shield so bad? Block that!"

For both their sakes.

Sanary plz

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    "I /am/ a rookie with a sword," Mel replies, backing off cautiously. "But I've had SpecOps combat training and the better half of a decade of field work to get used to fighting. So I'm not totally green." But then her opponent's fists slam down into the ground and- oh. Oh that can't be good. "...shit shit shit /SHIT/-" Boy can Mel run. But she gets clipped here and there. A blast tears away her suit's leg. Another takes a chunk out of her coat. A few come close enough to sting, badly, especially with the hit she already took. She's quickly taking more and more hits, and now there's four youkai charging right at her-

    -and no longer any need to do anything but 'hold the mikoshi in the air'.

    Suddenly, Mel lunges /forward/. Towards Camilla. Charging right in. At first it looks like she might be trying a 'hit you with your own attack' gambit. But in the process she suddenly reaches back, sheathes Hravn, and then reaches out and downward with both hands.

    As if reaching to grab something. Something low to the ground, and heavy.

    The road around Camilla cracks and crumbles.


    Mel makes a big, heaving motion. The ground buckles. Lifts. One huge, heavy slab, nearly a hundred tons of blacktop and concrete, heaved up and tossed over. Right at the four oni.

Metal Man (11) has posed:
Metal Man hears Sanary isn't doing so good either and he's starting to move. He knowas thigns are almost FUBAR? Why was it military minded humans had a larger share of the little logic humanity seemed to have? At least when it came up to setting up how some things worked such as verbal short hand.

He kept moving he knew things would not be going well though.

<<Engaging recovery. Joes 45 and 42, secure a hatch I'll be there with Sanary, prep a medkit likely gunshot and slashing taruma.>>

Metal Man moves with in human spedd nev er losing his balance and would crash in on Reiji, the downed Sanary Xiaomu before he gets there he pauses for a moment, ording the deatchment of his wrist blade and body blades they shortly vanish into the muck odf the sewers he'll say nothing as he lunges in to grab Sanary and bolt.

<<Also be ready fot the mother of all infections, get antibotic damn it humans never come standardies. Pass all this info on to Confed medical Crash>>

<<Right, should have figured Oni would live up to their names in the end and everything goes to pieces. Right data's sent, don't come back a wreck Brother.>>

<<Don't plan to, our war isn't over yet.>>

Sanary Rondel has posed:
Despite barely being able to even hold onto her gear and having what feels like multiple teeth jammed into various parts of her face, Sanary's still grinning!

     Also, bleeding a lot. Knees to the head will do that! "Hngh... It's crap." She sounds a little delirious, too, what with that blow to the head and the fumes and the EXPLODING everywhere. She's not quite sure what's going on between Reiji urging her to use the shield and Metal Man showing up, but whatever the case is? She's moving somewhere without having to move herself.

     And while she's nursing those wounds, all she needs to do is focus on not dropping anything. She's in no condition to do much else than that and hope the rest of the Confederates get out safely with at least one of those fragments in tow. It'd be better than nothing, at least!

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
This is also why Xiaomu was NOT tossing grenades of +4 Fire Element Damage around. She isn't even all the way back to the intersection when shit blows up.

What she *can* do from that damage is draw Suiren and stab into the 'floor,' channeling a wave of ice magic past Reiji and Sanary to bring up another wall between them and the explosion - and ANOTHER wall on the far side to try and make sure Reina doesn't get charbroiled.

If Metal Man wants to take undue and unfair advantage of her distraciton and momentary enervation, this is a prime moment in which to do so, while she's incapable of capitalizing on what she's learned about the Robot Master's weaknesses.

It's still probably going to take Sanary's shield to protect her and Reiji from serious burns, in any case.

As for what's happening on the surface ... the fighting is kind of tapering off by that point. Yari is actually escaping with one fragment, but she's going to have to avoid Shinra forces as well. Said Shinra forces are collecting the other fragment that was in Ouma's possession, bringing Shinra's total up to three.

But they are going to need that fourth one in order to wrap this affair up once and for all. 'Emperor' Sutoku, meanwhile, is going to be *utterly* (and impotently) furious about his underlings' failure; heads are very likely going to roll in the most literal sense imaginable - and the ranks of Ouma will be thinner for a while for a whole *slew* of reasons, ranging from 'penalty for failure' to 'I didn't like working with them that much anyway, screw that' to 'they wanted to do *what* to the mortals we take advantage of, wtf are you serious, was *he* serious?'

And as for the mortal population of Tokyo .... it's probably eventually going to be written off as a belated Halloween mega-prank that went horribly off the rails. But not as horribly as it might have. The kitsune who lives next door will say good morning when they're both picking up the morning paper from the front step; the little bakeneko girl who lives down the street will be playing with her normal human friends tomorrow afternoon when none of them have school ...

And the nightclub might have a new bouncer, or a substitute, for a couple of weeks while the regular guy's broken leg heals up. But he'll be back on the job too, with his usual hearty belly-laugh and the kind of back-slapping baudy good humor that the regulars have learned to laugh appreciatively at.

Camilla Ulyssa (1056) has posed:
    "The hell's a SpecOps?!" Camilla asks, while she continues to channel absurd quantities of magic into very inefficient and collateral-heavy attacks. Then Mel charges for her. The air around her sparks again; the closer Mel gets, the easier it is to tell Camilla is surrounded by countless tiny specks of magic. Too many to count. Entering her melee zone would be a lot like standing in front of a low-power shotgun, most likely. Probably not lethal, definitely makes you full of holes.

    But Mel doesn't go for melee. Mel begins lifting the ground. Camilla stops attacking, curious, under the rumble of the earth beneath her makes her leap back, into the air. Staying there, hovering, because she can fly, so why land. She watches Mel attacking the oni.

    She doesn't attack Mel.

    "Ugh. This was getting GOOD! Come on, that's just... uuuuugh!" <Maybe pay attention next time.> Mars intones, manly, smooth but flat robotic voice, coming from her swords' sheath. "The hell would it have changed?! I save these assholes' lives from her and they just throw it away to mess up our fight. Well, whatever!"

    The motes of light shotgun out, towards the remaining oni. Thousands of tiny blue and white balls of light. A quarter the size of your average marble, if that. Individually not much of a punch, but this is a shotgun blast's worth.

    As if they didn't have enough to worry about with that giant rock coming their way.

    Camilla huffs, turning away. "Buzzkills. Whatever, I'm out. Enjoy cleaning them up! Next time let's make sure someone can't just barge in and ruin the mood!"

    She doesn't intend to stick around. In a moment she'll be teleporting back who knows where. Takes a few seconds to cast, fancy magical circle and everything.